Nokia's Corporate Culture Challenge: a Case Study

Topics: Property management, Real estate, Facility management Pages: 6 (2137 words) Published: December 16, 2011
The creation of a truly global economy and increasing pressure on companies to find and retain top talent have caused changes in the real estate management arena to occur at breakneck speed. Increasingly, commercial tenants are using revamped, top-of-the-- line office space as an incentive to attract candidates and to improve overall productivity. Whether it's a foosball table and first-class catered lunches in a company cafeteria, an in-house workout facility and track, or a masseuse who occupies an office next to the mailroom, real estate managers are being asked more and more frequently to build and retrofit facilities to accommodate their tenants' newest recruiting tool. Tenants want to recreate their office space so that it's more than just a place to work. In fact, they want to build an environment where individuals are immersed in the corporate culture and can interact with the company and fellow employees on a variety of levels. As a world leader in mobile phone technology, Nokia was faced with a daunting task when the company decided to significantly expand its New England operations in Burlington, MA, in the fall of 1999. The rapid growth of the company, combined with Nokia's expanding investment in research and development, led to the plan for a new 135,000-square-- foot Northeast region headquarters building. Called Nokia House Boston, the new project presented an exciting opportunity to integrate as much of the Nokia cultural heritage as possible. It also called for cooperation and teamwork between designers, property management, and client to redesign an existing property to fit its new vision. Nokia wanted to combine Scandinavian and New England design elements with the corporations goal of providing open working spaces and an environment which promoted coworker contact and interaction.

Cultivating Corporate Culture
Nokia corporate culture is one of the company's strategic and competitive advantages. Even the company's catch phrase, `Connecting People', is symbolic of the culture, and helps define the purpose of its physical facilities. The company's buildings feature lots of natural wood, large windows, warm colors and fabrics, open floor plans, pedestrian bridges, game/recreation areas, fitness centers and saunas. The physical beauty and climate of Finland was to be reflected in Nokia's new corporate facility through the use of natural wood materials for interior spaces, fountains, waterfalls and reflecting ponds, as well as the use of natural light. Of equal importance in the design of Nokia's buildings is a strong corporate image. Inside and out, the new Nokia House Boston needed to celebrate Nokia's ability to sustain high product style and demonstrate its achievements as a worldwide technology leader. The company prides itself on four core values and principles which it places at the heart of its corporate philosophy: customer satisfaction, respect for the individual, achievement and continuous learning. By creating opportunities for the fluid exchange of ideas and empowering employees, customers, suppliers and partners to develop and expand relationships, Nokia defined a model not only for business success, but also for managing the company's corporate real estate needs.

Establishing Goals
From the beginning, the challenge was to develop a distinctive, award-winning workspace, with a design that mirrored the corporate culture, values and vision of Nokia's fast-growing company. Because the Nokia House Boston property was a major R&D facility, it was crucial that the new floorplan be open and conducive to the creative process that the company required for its engineers and design groups. At the same time, it was imperative that the design not completely mimic that of its Scandinavian headquarters but incorporate New England's culture as well. The New England facility would be a four-story, technology-rich building for 425 employees. Nokia House Boston would host product research and...
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